Former UFC champion Jon Jones may be a wrestler at heart, but he’s been more about the body lock takedowns to get the fight to the ground. And as he plans to move up to heavyweight, “Bones” expects his huge improvements in his overall wrestling game.
“When I was 205, I always had a hard time getting down low,” Jones told ESPN. “Or hated getting low, with [single-leg takedowns] and stuff like that. Almost as if my knees were killing me to do it.
“Now that I’ve been working on my legs so much and they’ve gotten thicker ... I think that’s going to translate into me shooting high-crotches and shooting double-legs. I think it’ll make those muscles a lot faster.
“I predict that my shooting ability and my wrestling is going to just be faster,” he continued. “There’s just more power, and my ass has gotten a lot bigger. I think my double-legs are going to be one of the biggest differences in my game that people are going to notice.”
Jones held the UFC’s 205-pound title for the last nine years through two separate stints. He admits he lost his competitive drive after years of dominance, but has since reignited it upon knowing how “intimidating” the opposition is.
“The light heavyweight division was fun, but I just wasn’t scared of those guys anymore,” he said. “Like, none of them. And I think it showed in some of my performances. Obviously, I still trained hard. But there was no urgency in some of my last fights.
“With these next guys I’m going to be going up against, I respect these guys. These guys are intimidating — they’re intimidating as sh-t. It just gets me up in a whole different way.”
The UFC has yet to finalize Jones’ heavyweight debut.